Monday, August 17, 2009

DC's November previews reviewed

Remember how Blackest Night was supposed to be a relatively self-contained Event story, playing out in a miniseries with that title, the Green Lantern books, and a trio of miniseries focusing on Batman, Superman and the Teen Titans?

Well forget it. DC’s got a hit on their hands, and they’re apparently going to try and exploit it for all it’s worth. That’s always a pretty big risk, but, as I learned from Fired Up, you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit, and so Black Lanterns will be showing up all over the DCU in November, particularly in the company’s lower-selling DCU books.

You can read all about those and other DC comics and toys here, and you can read all about my thoughts on a few of them here

Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott
Cover by Phil Noto
It’s Batgirl’s first night on the job, and as she’ll soon learn, it takes a lot more to wear the mantle of the Bat than she originally thought – especially when she has to juggle patrol, the police and a frat party!
On sale November 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Wait, her first night on the job is in the fourth issue? I wonder what happens in the first three issues of the series then? (Or is this a flashback?)

It looks like they’re going with one of those blacked-out covers, showing Batgirl in what must be a new, secret identity-spoiling costume fighting some Dark Knight Returns extras. Take special note of her thighs, particularly the left one. Is she wearing utility belts around her legs…? (?!) Oh man, I hope that new costume isn’t as bad as the presence of thigh-bandoliers would indicate….

Written by Tony Bedard and Mike W. Barr
Art by Rags Morales, Michael Golden and others
Cover by Rags Morales
The Wrath returns from the shadows of the past in this new collection featuring BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #13-16 and 1984’s BATMAN SPECIAL #1, which introduced The Wrath! But how does this mysterious foe know so much about Batman’s past?
On sale December 23 • 144 pg, FC, $17.99 US

I enjoyed the four-part Batman Confidential series collected herein, a sequel of sorts to a story in an early ‘80s Batman special, in large part because it was extremely well-drawn by Rags Morales. It looks like they’ll be collecting that arc with the original, 25-year-old special it followed.

Damn, now I kinda wish I would have waited for the trade…

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Sketch variant cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
The moment you’ve hungered for finally arrives! Who controls death in the DC Universe? NEKRON - Lord of the Undead! The dark being behind the undead Black Lanterns makes his presence and purpose known, and our heroes discover they’re not only fighting for their lives, but their after-lives as well. Don’t miss this game-changing issue from superstar writer Geoff Johns and stellar artist Ivan Reis!

Aw, I was kinda hoping for cute, goth girl Death of the Endless, not an obscure Green Lantern character from before I was even reading comic books.

And hey look, Nekron’s Lantern is part of a grim reaper-like scythe. That’s stupid/awesome.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
A thing that lives... and fights for its soul! The shambling walking doll that is Brother Power, the Geek has been reborn in Gotham City without a home or purpose! Could destiny have something in store for this seemingly lost relic? And why does his appearance cut into Batman’s heart like none of Gotham’s strange monsters ever has before? Find out in this new issue from best-selling writer J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) and artist Jesus Saiz (OMAC PROJECT)!
On sale November 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Oh fuck yes. Don’t fuck this one up, Straczynski!

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Part 1 of a 10-part miniseries! Join writer Tony Bedard (R.E.B.E.L.S.) and artist Scott McDaniel (NIGHTWING, GREEN ARROW) for an adventure exploring the extraordinary characters from the pages of 52 and CHECKMATE!
At the dawn of the Chinese Century, the 10 official "super-functionaries" of the People's Republic face their greatest challenge as the gods of Ancient China return to destroy communist rule! Will the most populous nation on Earth drag the rest of the world down with it? Do its heroes even want to save a government that treats them like pawns? Don't miss this tale that redraws the map of the DCU and fleshes out the most exciting and mysterious new characters from the mind of Grant Morrison! Featuring a gorgeous cover by rising artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau (FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE).
On sale November 4 • 1 of 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Poor Tony Bedard and Scott McDaniel. It seems like they would each be much better off finding some steady work on a monthly rather than bouncing around as they have, as the recent resume of each make them look like the guys DC turns to when no one else wants the gig.

And this series just looks dead on arrival. You've got some minor, C-List superheroes introduced in a very popular limited series…let's see…three years ago, now? (Might have been a good idea to launch this early on during 52's run, no?)You've got a writer whose specialty seems to be fill-in arcs, paired with an artist who is ubiquitous in low-selling and/or awful comics (I kinda like McDaniel, but his recent work includes Countdown tie-ins, Trinity, and various Classified and Confidential stories...he's just not packing much heat these days, you know?). Factor in the fact that hardly anyone ever manages to make Grant Morrison creations sing and the fact that comics shelves are already over-crowded with super-comics and, well, I can't imagine anyone at DC thinks this is going to be selling 18,000 copies by the tenth issue.

Maybe they'll break even, and that's enough these days...? The cover looks nice, anyway.

Written by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson & Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson
The definitive tale of the JLA’s formation is back in a new printing of the massive book starring The Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. Collecting the entire, original twelve-issue miniseries!
Advance-solicited; on sale December 9 • 320 pg, FC, $19.99 US

No longer in continuity!

Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
Supergirl and Shazam join the team as Prometheus is finally captured! His evil machinations are revealed, but even so, the League may be unable to stop the villain’s disturbing plans as he cuts down one of the members! Don’t miss this shocking new issue that’ll have everybody talking.
On sale November 18 • 5 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Okay, can you spot the problem with this series that the solicitation copy itself reveals? That's right! The phrase "join the team" is in the solicitation for the fifth issue of a seven-part miniseries. I like th promise that the issue will have everybody talking, too. The first two issues of the series certainly had everybody talking, but they weren't saying anything nice.

Ah well, no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Written by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
The traitor stands revealed, and his part in the destruction of the Justice Society of America is complete. While the team’s headquarters lies in ruin, the same fate has befallen the team itself! Hold on to your seats, because the JSA as we’ve known it is torn asunder!
On sale November 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Aw, but Dale Eaglesham and company just built that nice, new headquarters, with the cool table and chairs and everything!

Written by Zander Cannon, Kevin Grevioux, Felicia D. Henderson, Jen Van Meter, Jerry Ordway, James Robinson and Matthew Sturges
Art by Roberto Castro & John Floyd, Neil Edwards & Wayne Faucher, Renato Guedes & José Wilson Magalhães, Jesus Merino, Jerry Ordway, Freddie Williams II and others
Cover by Jerry Ordway
The newer members of the JSA explore the team’s mansion headquarters and learn a thing or two about themselves in 7 exciting stories from today’s top creators in this oversized special! But who directs the group through the deep, dark halls of building? Is it a friend, or a very dangerous foe?
On sale November 18 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

I love, love, love 80-page giants, particularly of the novel-length adventure variety. The creative roster here looks a little mixed--people I know I like, people I don't really like, people I don't know at all--but I'll likely pick this up, despite having dropped the parent title.

Quick question: Who's that new guy that looks like Kid Shade?

Written by Scott Kolins
Art and cover by Scott Kolins
The Blackest Night blankets the world of Superman and Batman yet again! But this time it’s not what you think! Get ready for a team-up of epic proportions as Bizarro and Man-Bat face down the undead power of Black Lantern Solomon Grundy!
On sale November 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Here’s one of those Wait, why the hell is this book featuring a Blackest Night tie-in? comics I mentioned up top.

Now, I can’t actually recall reading anything Scott Kollins has written before, nor have I read anyone say anything at all about the eight-part Solomon Grundy limited series he’s been doing (aside from Mike Sterling noting that he reads and likes it), but a Man-Bat/Bizarro team-up is one of those concepts that sounds so crazy it just might work.

Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Gary Frank
Variant cover by Mark Buckingham
Humans and Kryptonians are the only two races in our solar system, right? Wrong! Jemm, Son of Saturn, ruler of the super-powered Saturnian race, arrives in Kandor demanding answers to New Krypton’s recent actions – answers he intends to get even if he has to fight his way through Commander Kal-El and the entire Kryptonian army!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Mark Buckingham). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Ever since that one Martian Manhunter arc, "The Rings of Saturn," I thought it was kinda weird that Saturn was inhabited and had some Martian-like, super-type people, but they hardly ever have anything to do with the rest of the DCU.

So maybe this will be neat. I found the first issue of this series pretty dull and thought I'd just wait for a trade on it. Now I wonder how they'll collect it, in two six-issue trades or a big huge 12-issue trade? I'm so new at this waiting-for-the-trade game!

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Ramon Bachs
Covers by Phil Noto
Following a trail of experimental equipment that was stolen from WayneTech, the new Robin finds himself in Metropolis and face-to-face with the straight-laced Guardian. But when Parasite and Mr. Freeze appear, the two heroes will have to band together to capture the villains and retrieve the missing tech. What are the villains really after, though, and who is pulling their strings?

This looks like it will be an ideal series to buy out of $1 bins at the Mid-Ohio Comic Con some day.

Okay, I give up: Who are the two to the left of Terra…? Is that Pantha and Aquagirl I?

Written by Marv Wolfman
Art and cover by Rick Leonardi and John Stanisci
The Vigilante aims to settle the score with the mob by going after the big boss. But this boss just so happens to be his father-in-law! Family matters turn into grave matters, and blood will run for the Vigilante in this, the final issue of the series!
FINAL ISSUE • On sale November 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

So, here’s the “FINAL ISSUE” I’ve been waiting to read at the end of a solicitation for Vigilante ever since it was first announced. It lasted a whole year, which is honestly more than I would have expected. I wonder if the crossover with the Titans books helped give it an extra three issues or so…


Cute and cunning Cassandra Sandsmark has her magic lasso ready to strike! Just like her idol, Donna Troy, Cassie is proud to join the ranks of the popular Ame-Comi series!

The limited-edition, non-articulated, approximately 8.25” high PVC statue comes with a base, is packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook and is manufactured to order.

Advance-solicited; on sale April 21, 2010 * Statue * $60 US

Oh, Cassie’s “proud” to join the Ame-Comi series, is she? Why?

Quick question: Do those…things she’s wearing qualify as chaps? Or are they just denim thigh-high tights attached to a garter belt or…? Sanford Green, I do not understand your design!

The Wonder Woman one is a lot cooler, giving the heroine a Frank Frazetta/old-school paperback fantasy novel look which works with an aspect of the character.

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there are enough people who are willing to spend $60 a pop on these things that they are worthwhile to produce, though.

Why aren't there comics featuring these versions of the characters though, if there are enough people into them? I mean, I like manga, I like scantily clad women, and I like DC superheroes, so I'd probably read an "Ame-Comi" comic book if it were well-written and well-drawn, even if I'd never want one of these stupid statues in my house.


cosmicomic said...

That Shade-lookin' kid is the Sensational Character Find of 2009, and surefire future crossover cannon fodder, King Chimera, introduced by Wilingham and Sturges in their first issue. He's supposed to be a legacy character for someone called King Standish, but he really feels like a l'il Black Adam, Namor, or Doctor Doom - aristocratic arrogance is his personality trait.

The Batgirl costume looks like it could include baggy shorts, on that left leg at least, which would be similar to what Birds of Prey bit player Misfit wears. Number 1 comes out this week - surely they're not going to be as ridiculous about who's under the cowl as Marvel is being about who the Red Hulk is?

David page said...

I don't think hes gonna be crossover cannon fodder for a while since he's part of the second hsa book

I don't think calebs gonna like that Brave and bold story since its clearly a follow up on that grundy mini he never read

David page said...

jsa book I hate typos

Phillyradiogeek said...

I'm not surprised that Nekron is the Big Bad in Blackest Night, but I am surprised that DC spoiled it in the solicitations (unless he's been revealed as the villian in BL #2 already, which I haven't read yet).

Nate said...

The Scott Kolins art on the Grundy series looks good (I can't say I read it). He's dispensed with the washes he was doing at Marvel, and added variety to his line weight.

Matt D said...

The lack of 52 follow-up was AMAZING. They should have had four or five comics read to go the week 52 ended. Maybe even earlier. Infinity Inc, if it had a shot in hell, which it didn't considering just how weird it was, should have launched right after Steel's story ended around Christmas time.

Booster Gold should have launched a few weeks after 52, not x amount of months. Don't get me started on Batwoman or the Question or the lack of use for the Ghost Detectives or the Great 10 or anything else. I get that Waid, Rucka, Johns, and Morrison were all really burnt out after 52, but come on.

Someone ought to go write a book about DC's loss of Market Share starting with Infinite Crisis #1

The lack of follow-up was just insane. Half the time I don't know what DC is thinking these days anyway. It's like Bob Wayne's been replaced by a skrull or something.

cosmicomic said...

I suppose there's a chance that King Chimera will prove to be a character with lasting potential (stranger things have happened), but I don't really see a difference between him and Pantha. For that matter, I don't think any of the characters that Johns introduced into the JSA with the relaunch have staying power. Adding a second title will help their chances, but only if the second title proves to be a success. It seems that DC missed the boat and should have offered a second JSA title to piggyback Johns' relaunch of the parent title, just like they did with the revamped Green Lantern Corps and Supergirl, and just like they're doing with Adventure Comics and Kid Flash.

DC did a decent job following up Infinite Crisis, I think - Blue Beetle, Checkmate, and Shadowpact were all spin-offs launched in its wake. None of them are ongoing today, although BB lives on as a backup, but they were all solid runs. Secret Six got a miniseries and eventually an ongoing out of it.

Caleb said...

That Shade-lookin' kid is the Sensational Character Find of 2009, and surefire future crossover cannon fodder, King Chimera, introduced by Wilingham and Sturges in their first issue. He's supposed to be a legacy character for someone called King Standish...

Thanks! That actually sounds familiar-ish. Did I already ask that, and did you already answer it?

surely they're not going to be as ridiculous about who's under the cowl as Marvel is being about who the Red Hulk is?

The thought occurs to me if her blacked-out image doesn't appear until #4, maybe they do keep it secret for several issues...or there's a series of Batgirls...? (Which is basically how they introduced Cassandra, with her taking over for the mystery version who gave up the suit).

I don't think calebs gonna like that Brave and bold story since its clearly a follow up on that grundy mini he never read

Oh, maybe not if it's tied in to it too much. Are you reading that mini? Is the Bizarro that was in it funny Bizarro or scary Bizarro?

The lack of 52 follow-up was AMAZING.

What surprised me the most was how they seemed to choose the wrong projects to follow up on over and over, as well as the strange delays. Like with Batwoman they literally waited years until all interest in the character evaporated.